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Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification™ logo beside a photograph of Holland Bloorview's building
Building an accessible world for all, from the ground up

Holland Bloorview recognized as Canada’s most accessible hospital with Gold certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program

To remove barriers for persons with disabilities and dismantle ableism, we must focus on improving accessibility within our infrastructure, services and care. As an organization guided by a goal to lead and model social change and committed to creating a more inclusive world for kids with disabilities, we are proud to announce the Rick Hansen Foundation has assessed Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview) to be one of the most accessible buildings in Canada.

The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program is a rating system that measures the accessibility of buildings and sites, promoting increased access through the adoption of Universal Design principles. Holland Bloorview received Gold certification through this program, the highest level possible.

“As part of our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility – IDEA – Holland Bloorview is committed to dismantling ableism in all its forms,” says Julia Hanigsberg, president and CEO of Holland Bloorview. “One of the more obvious ways to break down disability barriers is to make buildings more accessible which is why I’m so proud of Holland Bloorview for meeting the rigours of the Rick Hansen Certification program and reaching Gold status. This recognition is a testament to planning and being deliberate about accessibility.”

Holland Bloorview’s building which was completed in 2006, was designed with accessibility and child-friendliness in mind. It has received worldwide recognition for its accessible design and for exceeding minimum building code accessibility requirements. Some of our recent and continued improvements to improve accessible design include launching an accessible playground and opening Canada’s first child-friendly, immersive and fully accessible research MRI suite.

“I’m extremely proud of the work that’s been done to make sure our building, facilities and amenities are accessible to all. Evaluation through this certification is an important step that illustrates what we’re doing right and highlights where we can improve. This furthers our learning about ableism by design so no one who enters our hospital faces barriers that limit or prevent them from accessing the programs, services or care they need,” says Meenu Sikand, executive lead, equity, diversity and inclusion, and co-chair, inclusion, diversity, equity & accessibility (IDEA) taskforce.

When assessing Holland Bloorview, RHFAC considered all parking lots, passenger drop-off zone, exterior elements (including pathways, picnic areas and the outdoor recreation areas) and the entire interior of the building including client areas, office and meeting spaces, lounges, conference centre, swimming pool, change rooms and showers, temporary accommodation spaces and the cafeteria.

Holland Bloorview’s results, including areas for improvement, will be incorporated into our accessibility plan.